In Conversation with Fahren Feingold: The Sensual and Whimsical Muses in Her Watercolors
Illustrator and artist Fahren Feingold beckons the viewer with her whimsical fashion muses. Feingold, a Los Angeles native, moved to New York to study Illustration at Parsons, but ended up becoming a fashion designer, honing her skills at mega-brands like Ralph Lauren, Nicole Miller, DKNY, and several others. She has since returned to her California roots, residing in the artistically thriving DTLA district to fully pursue her painting and illustration career. Drawing major inspo from the world's biggest fashion houses - Rochas, Chloe, Balenciaga, Giambattista Valli - Feingold's girlish gamines are wonderfully ethereal and exude serious sensuous vibes. Get to know the artist in our conversation below and check out her insanely seductive Instagram account as well.
Gallery Gurls: You studied illustration but became a fashion designer, what parallels have you found between the two and how does it inform your work?
Fahren Feingold: I have always had a love for fashion illustration, fashion design, and art. Being able to study art in school and then learn fashion design through trade, really gave me the education of both, so now I have a thorough understanding of two worlds and blend them frequently. Art and fashion are not so far apart, but to understand their intricacies, gives me an insight that many do not possess. I explore beauty, femininity and sexuality in both throughout my work.
"Being able to study art in school and then learn fashion design through trade, really gave me the education of both, so now I have a thorough understanding of two worlds and blend them frequently. "
How important is social media to you and what role does it play in your artistic practice?
Social media is the mechanism which exhibits my work. It's a constant online gallery that reaches the outside world, be it designers, bloggers, art directors, students, other artists, art collectors, everyday people, etc. I've been able to connect with a community of artists around the world, as a result I feel less isolated in my work and on my path as a painter. Building a network around the world is a new advantage that social media offers as never before.
The DTLA art scene is so major right now, do you feel you have homecourt advantage being a native?
I love being a part of the DTLA art scene. you can find my art around the DTLA area, I use wheat paste. I intend to continue doing so, it makes me feel connected to my city and the artists here.
Being invited by Nick Knight to illustrate for SHOWstudio is an incredible honor. I am still elated to be a part of his gallery and to show my work alongside the amazing artists he has chosen. I admire so many of them and their work and I'm exciting to stand beside them.
SHOWstudio also recently commissioned you to illustrate shows during Paris Fashion Week, tell me more about this exciting opportunity.
Illustrating for SHOWstudio during PFW, was one of the more exciting projects I have worked on. I had complete creative control and freedom to play. At first it seemed daunting, but then it was intoxicating.
" I love working on unique illustrations for each individual designer, trying to capture not just their clothing or details, but also their mood."
What are some of your favorite fashion websites/blogs and Instagram accounts?
I am excited about Instagram accounts that are pushing the limits in creative ways, we live in a world that censors certain things and yet prides itself on being forward. @panandthedream - @jenssmith - @christinedelassus - @queenruba - @arvidabystrom. I am intrigued by people who are using beautiful images and art to push the limits and yet still remind us that we are all human.
What are your current obsessions? What are you presently inspired by?
My current obsessions are pretty much consistent with things I've been inspired by always, they just seem to grow the more I discover. I'm like a magpie, I'm always inspired and attracted to glitter and sparkles! I love colors, both muted whispers like a chiffon and bright blasts of color like a neon sign. I look to artists like Egon Schiele as well as Francis Bacon, Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, Clemente, Galland, Dumas. I surround myself with images when I paint so that I can be inspired and reminded of great artists... although many times I forget to look up as I get lost in my own work.